How cardio can actually make you fatter!

Written by Bear on December 1st 2013


When you hear the words “fat loss”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Running? Treadmills? No more cupcakes?

post-img-2Well… maybe one last cupcake? The diet starts tomorrow right?

Two of the biggest problems I find with the fat loss game are that people set unrealistic plans in terms of their diet and exercise regimes. In this post, I want to concentrate on cardio!

Now let me start off by saying I am NOT against cardio. I am a firm believer that any kind of movement is better than none. As long as you’re on your feet and off your ass- I’m happy!

Except for crossfit, that stuff is just stupid!

Ok, I’m kidding! I just like pissing off the cross-fit crowd ;)

post-img-4The issue I have with cardio is that it is often misused. When people think cardio, generally they’re using it to burn fat! Or last nights brownies…

Now on paper, this makes sense! You burn a lot of calories running or cycling for 45-60 minutes.

However, bear in mind…

Too much cardio burns fat AND muscle:

Muscle is a beautiful thing! It not only looks good, it also requires more energy to hold onto it. So more muscle generally means- less fat, and more food!

Waffles anyone?

Long duration cardio increases your appetite:

The whole point of running on a treadmill is to put yourself in an energy deficit! That is- burn more calories than you take in. The problem with long cardio stints- it makes you hungry! Real hungry! The average person going hard on a treadmill or bike for 60 minutes will burn maybe 500 calories if they’re lucky! That’s two chocolate bars- or that post workout happy meal! If you’re lucky!

The other problem is that we as humans are hard wired to be rewarded for our good efforts. Blame your parents for that one for all the times you were promised tasty treats if you ate all your vegetables first!


It’s boring!:

Running on the spot staring at a wall for an hour sucks! It gets old, fast! Now combined with the two points above- you’ve just spent the last few weeks or months going nowhere. Your conclusion is that you’re doing everything right and still can’t lose weight! Exercise sucks! Now pass me the cookies!

However- here are two ways to make cardio fun, and work for you!

Go hard… then go home!

Try interval training. Peddle, run or stride as hard as you can for 20 seconds- then cruise for 40 seconds. Repeat for 10 -15 minutes, then hit the showers!

Weigh up your cardio!

Circuit training is awesome for both building muscle and burning fat! My client’s have been getting great results using complexes- a series of exercises performed all in a row without letting go of the bar. Next time, you’re in the gym try this:

Barbell lunges x 10
Shoulder press x 10
Squats x 10
Bent over row x 10
Upright row x 10


Choose a weight you can handle for 10 reps on the shoulder press. Perform 10 reps of each exercise and continue until all exercises are completed. Then put the bar down, rest for 60-90 seconds and repeat 2 – 4 more times. Trust me!

In saying all this, if you’re still sold on using the treadmill- this is what I recommend.

At least the rest of us will get something out of it ;)

Give these tips a try and let me know what you think! Any questions, hit me up.

Oh by the way… I was just kidding about the last treadmill stunt!

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